Consequences of a fake marriage in Australia - Visa Solutions Australia

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What are the consequences of a fake marriage in Australia?

What are the consequences of a fake marriage in Australia?

The Australian Government is getting tough on those who are trying to come into this country illegally by targeting scam marriages or those which they don’t believe are genuine.

Partner migration accounts for a quarter of the total migrant intake and 70,000 are expected to be submitted this year with around 48,000 being approved.  The highest number of applicants come from China, UK, India and Vietnam.

Critics claim partner system is ‘flawed’

Many believe the current system is flawed claiming that its’s not appropriate that children as young as 16 can come to Australia, and that sponsors don’t need to have a job or financial evidence to support them.  In Britain, partners must be aged at least 21 and sponsors must earn 18,600 pounds.

In the past two years alone 519 partner visas have been cancelled in Australia and Immigration Minister Peter Dutton says he’s committed to “stamping out corruption” claiming the “Australian Government has no tolerance for visa fraud”.

Student visas

8,000 applications for partner visas each year are from foreign students who arrive from a different country and study here.  They’re relatively young and marry Australian citizens, but some relationships are short lived and soon end. 

Partner visas require an assessment after two years to prove the relationship still exists and is genuine, but sometimes the Department of Immigration and Border Control is inundated with work and checks aren’t as comprehensive as they should be.

However, at any stage of the migration process, fraud can be discovered.  Members of the public can report fraudulent relationships anonymously by completing an online form on the website of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.  

What happens if your fake marriage is found out?

If Australian immigration authorities discover that a marriage is fraudulent and is not based on love, both halves of the couple could face severe consequences.

The immigrant who committed to the fake marriage would be deported from the country and have their visa revoked. They would also be blacklisted so that they would not be able to obtain a future visa for Australia. They could also face criminal fines and penalties as high as $300,000 and a jail term could be imposed.

Immigration authorities can undertake checks at any time and have a range of different methods to discover marriage fraud.  

At the application process, documents must prove the marriage is valid and then checks will be made as they progress onto permanent residency and again at citizenship status. At any stage, immigration officials can demand further submission of documents and undertake intensive couples’ questioning. They can also visit their home, talk to friends their employer and more.

Fake marriages in the news

Not a month goes by without some fake marriage hitting the headlines. In February 2017, an Indian couple from Queensland, Chetan Mashru and his wife Divya Gowda were found guilty on a total of 66 charges relating to running a marriage visa scam for Indian men to marry Australian women for money.

The men would apply for visas and the women were paid $1000 a month until these visas came through. Mashru, a former migration agent was jailed for four and a half years and Gowda a marriage celebrant 18 months.

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